Oscar time with Bob

Robert Taylor

Nominations for ‘Best Picture’ not exactly

Even though it took almost eight months for a good film to hit theaters, 2006 ultimately turned into one of the best recent years for filmmaking, a year when good films were actually embraced by audiences. Sadly, as has become the trend lately, you can’t really tell by looking at this year’s Oscar nominations.

It’s not that the Academy is nominating bad films and bad performances; it’s that most of America will never get the opportunity to see most of the movies on its list.

It’s a shame that studios have to play a stupid game with their Oscar fare. They release their movies in limited release so that only critics and a handful of stuck-up filmgoers who seek out the movies actually see the films. The public doesn’t get the chance to decide whether or not a film is worthy of the often overzealous praise it receives. God forbid we make a decision about anything.

Then a bunch of award cermonies you’ve never heard of (nor care to know about to begin with) start picking movies as the best of the year, which creates a buzz about certain movies and leaves others in the dust.

So by the time the Academy makes its final nomination list, many excellent films have all but fallen through the cracks. Others that were held off from wide release until the nominations were announced might never get a big release if they aren’t nominated for Best Picture and will pretty much bomb when they hit the shelves because no one has seen or heard of them.

And that’s too bad because films like Little Children, Notes on a Scandal, Half Nelson, Pan’s Labyrinth and Volver are amazing movies that should be seen.

No movie that hinges on the performance of one actor should get a nomination for best film (hello, Capote and Ray), because best films should represent an utter mix of writing, directing, acting and all those other jobs no one quite understands. Therefore The Queen doesn’t seem to have been fairly nominated because most people refer to it as That Helen Mirren Movie.

I’m absolutely shocked to see Dreamgirls, the feel-good movie of the year that audiences literally stand up and cheer for, apparently just doesn’t deserve the same recognition as the overlauded Babel and The Departed. Ditto for the films I mentioned earlier, but then again, best pictures have never been the Academy’s strong suit.

So please don’t just give into the hype and go see the movies nominated for Best Picture. Look at all the categories and see which movies interest you personally before going on a game of “Where’s Waldo?” looking for the movies and shelling out 10 bucks for them.

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].